As you've probably noticed, I'm on a bit of a consumption jag, devouring books and movies and music at a frenetic pace, then flinging out recommendations in lieu of blog entries. (Although, to whatever extent this blog is about what is going on with me, this about sums it up unless you want to hear about the new pillowcases I got at a discount outlet last time I went to Maine...)
I go through this stage about once a year, usually in February when everything is gray and dingy and dead from winter, and those same words describe the inside of my heart and mind. Not depressed, not discouraged; there's no need to fear (much) for my overall mental health. But I've been feeling rather dead, needing something new to revive me. This is typically when I long to move to New York City, where stuff is happening, stuff that might wake me up and give me something to write about again. Instead, I've been finding it in the four hundred word sentences of a famed octogenarian writer, a pudgy nine year old dancing to music selected by her unorthodox grandfather, and - today- the songs from a couple of singers I'd never heard before in quite this way. I listened to them, and I wrote. Real stuff, not the wow, she's trying way too hard pithy drivel I churned out last week.
So if you're looking for inspiration, here are today's suggestions:
For funky, ecclectic music talking about faith and life: Ayiesha Woods. She's like India Arie meets Tracey Chapman meets Queen Latifah. Her song Happy made me happy...what more can I ask for?
If you're feeling introspective, and want to think and feel and see the world with big new eyes, Cindy Morgan's new CD, Postcards is brilliant. An hour with this CD this morning, and I'm a better human being.
So there you have it. Now I'm off to the video store to get the new DVD by the Dixie Chicks, to see their creative process from the inside and to try to dislike Natalie Maines a little less. I'm not sure why, but it feels important for me to see her as more than one of those girls who would round everyone up to hate me in the first grade because I wore a funny shirt or sat at the wrong place at lunch. I'll let you know how it goes!